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Twilight Struggle» Forums » General

Subject: Which side do you prefer to play? rss

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King in Green
Japan
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A very simple poll for my own curiosity. Do you prefer to play the USSR or the US....and why? Is your choice influenced by your playstyle, your experiences with the game, your nationality, or perhaps your ideological beliefs?

When I first played Twilight Struggle I preferred the US as I liked the narrative of the US comeback after an early onslaught, and I preferred to react to my opponent's moves in a slightly passive manner. More recently I have been enjoying playing the USSR, even at US +2, as I have come to see the strength of the USSR in the early war and to enjoy a more aggressive approach.

How about you?

Poll
Do you prefer to play the US or the USSR?
The USSR.
The US.
I have no strong preference.
      168 answers
Poll created by Paul Harding
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Dave Rubin
United States
Trenton
New Jersey
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Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest.
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I have a preference for the US. I'm more comfortable playing black in chess, too. ;-)
 
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Brian Pierce
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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When I first learned the game, a friend and I assigned sides and played the same way for our first 5-8 games. I was the US during these games, so I initially preferred playing as the US due to my experience and familiarity with the cards. As I have played more and more games as both sides, I no longer find that I have a preference for one over the other. I am familiar with all of the cards on both sides (the Late War cards to a lesser extent) and can understand the strategy from both perspectives.
 
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Joe Pilkus
United States
South Riding
Virginia
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I prefer to play the USSR at the moment, as I've clocked less than a dozen games against human opponents and the PLydek AI still regularly beats me, yielding one win out of 17 plays, thus far. In short, it's not Chess, as there are a finite number of cards and knowing how the cards work is essential to this game. I'm clearly still learning...
 
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Christopher Yaure
United States
Plymouth Meeting
Pennsylvania
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I prefer to alternate sides.
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Michael Kiefte
Canada
Dartmouth
Nova Scotia
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actuaryesquire wrote:
I prefer to alternate sides.


every second Turn.
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Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
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I'll gladly take the USSR under the RAW, but I actually think the USA at +2 with optional cards is equal or even slightly stronger against all but top expert opponents.

Unfortunately, I cannot answer, as the side I want depends on the situation. For example, one guy has played USA against me the last 3-4 times; maybe I'd like to play USA against him just for variety's sake.
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Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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My wife won't play this one with me and so I usually play both myself.
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Michael Valentine

Texas
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My progression is the same as yours. I initially like USA better, as I enjoyed trying to stack the deck against the Soviets and watch them struggle while the USA heroically came from behind to prevail. Now, I prefer Soviets because it's fun to get on top and push the other guy around, never giving him a chance to breathe. The other advantage of playing Soviets is that games take less time because I'll push for auto victory, while the USA more depends on playing the long game.
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Danwarr
United States
Illinois
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I like playing both, but right now I'm learning USSR strategies to nail the Steam AI in the Early War and get more card familiarity.
 
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Tim Earl
United States
Portage
Michigan
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Because I apparently grasped basic strategy more quickly than the rest of my gaming group, for a few years they would always force me to play as the US. I was so comfortable with the US that when I finally started playing the USSR more often, it threw me off my game a bit.

But I don't really care one way or the other.
 
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Christopher Phennah
United Kingdom
Liverpool
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I prefer to play as the U.S. mostly because when my regular opponent and I play by sheer random chance I am more likely to be the U.S. player and have thus become more used to their strategy and style of play. Playing against the Playdek AI I'm getting more used to the USSR style of play but still tend to struggle more than as the U.S.
 
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Alan Newman
United States
Wantagh
New York
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Re mobile version, does it even matter?

I don't even understand how this game deserves its rating. So far, it seems a complete luckfest and in addition to the very dumb luck from dice rolls, circumstances with certain card combos can sabotage the game so significantly one wonders why one is playing.

So at this point, the beginning of turn 3, I either discard my best card (NATO) or I give up my 6 influence in West Germany. That is insane. Really.
 
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Ben Kyo
Japan
Suita
Osaka
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Why for this life there's no man smart enough, life's too short for learning every trick and bluff.
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Al Newman wrote:
So at this point, the beginning of turn 3, I either discard my best card (NATO) or I give up my 6 influence in West Germany. That is insane. Really.

It's even more fun when you don't even have the option of discarding a card to Blockade - when trying to avoid playing Decolonization under the effects of Red Scare, for example. Anyway, I have a win rate of over 96% on the Playdek app against my friends and random internet strangers. Tournament win rates are another statistic you can look to for a better proof that "total luckfest" is horribly inaccurate.
 
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Alan Newman
United States
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Benkyo wrote:
Al Newman wrote:
So at this point, the beginning of turn 3, I either discard my best card (NATO) or I give up my 6 influence in West Germany. That is insane. Really.

It's even more fun when you don't even have the option of discarding a card to Blockade - when trying to avoid playing Decolonization under the effects of Red Scare, for example. Anyway, I have a win rate of over 96% on the Playdek app against my friends and random internet strangers. Tournament win rates are another statistic you can look to for a better proof that "total luckfest" is horribly inaccurate.


Given this game is my one and only game so far, total luckfest is 100% accurate. Over the course of more games, I'll hope your analysis is correct.
 
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Kris Wei
China
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USSR, for a simple reason: USSR has higher win rate in +2 games, and most tournaments use US+2 as standard option.

However, USSR is the power that more dependent to dice rolls(A-I war,Korean War, Italy/Panama/(South Africa)coup, offensive Space 1), while US is not if you don't go silly de-Sta-realign-ation, but it's hard to stop a very lucky USSR player even if you are technically stronger.
 
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Ben Kyo
Japan
Suita
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sankt wrote:
USSR, for a simple reason: USSR has higher win rate in +2 games, and most tournaments use US+2 as standard option.

I've always heard that US+2 gives a tiny advantage to US. Is the higher win rate for USSR that you experience unique to very high-level players, i.e., tournament level play, or unique to Chinese tournaments, or are the statistics I'd heard of flawed in some other way?
 
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Kris Wei
China
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Benkyo wrote:
sankt wrote:
USSR, for a simple reason: USSR has higher win rate in +2 games, and most tournaments use US+2 as standard option.

I've always heard that US+2 gives a tiny advantage to US. Is the higher win rate for USSR that you experience unique to very high-level players, i.e., tournament level play, or unique to Chinese tournaments, or are the statistics I'd heard of flawed in some other way?


Chinese League/Championship data:
USSR wins 52% in US+2 games, while in US+3, it's 47:53.

Also, Master Ziemowit bade +3 in recent championship for USSR won all +2 games between us(5 games if I don't forget some).
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Drew Lawson
United States
Costa Mesa
California
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I believe the WGR league also has a ~51% USSR win rate when playing with U.S. +2 and Optionals.
 
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Johannes Blank
Germany
Münster
Northrine-Westphalia
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I prefer USSR, comrade. I do enjoy the having-the-last-word aspect of the US (playing the last card of any round), but i far prefer the feeling to always have the iniative and to make my opponent react to my stuff that the USSR has. Also, I prefer the USSR flavorwise. Sadly, so far I'm better at playing USA, but I guess winning isn't everything.
 
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andrew
Australia
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western australia
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I just had my first game of this (august 2016). It left me surprised by the monster amount of luck and wondering if the game was indeed balanced. I think I was expecting much more elegance for a game that topped the BGG pops for so long.

I'm guessing the +2 means the USA starts on +2 victory points as a balance up? Though in our game the Soviet player got two hands of almost totally USA cards which pretty much crippled them by turn 6.
 
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Ben Kyo
Japan
Suita
Osaka
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antiussentiment wrote:
I just had my first game of this (august 2016). It left me surprised by the monster amount of luck and wondering if the game was indeed balanced. I think I was expecting much more elegance for a game that topped the BGG pops for so long.

I'm guessing the +2 means the USA starts on +2 victory points as a balance up? Though in our game the Soviet player got two hands of almost totally USA cards which pretty much crippled them by turn 6.

+2 influence to add to any country/countries they already have influence in after setup.

To your criticism, you'll just have to play it more to understand. Took me about half a dozen games.
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Mikhail Dektyarev
Russia
Moscow
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antiussentiment wrote:
I just had my first game of this (august 2016). It left me surprised by the monster amount of luck and wondering if the game was indeed balanced. I think I was expecting much more elegance for a game that topped the BGG pops for so long.

I'm guessing the +2 means the USA starts on +2 victory points as a balance up? Though in our game the Soviet player got two hands of almost totally USA cards which pretty much crippled them by turn 6.

Did you played with another novice? If yes, then such game was unlikely anything like "real TS".

(also, "having your opponents cards isn't bad - because it means opponent has yours; having low cards is bad - because it means opponent has high)

+2 US means "after initial influence placement, US can place total of 2 influence in countries it already has influence in".
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